Our Aims in the War
Socialism -- United States, American Alliance for Labor and Democracy, AALD, American Federation of Labor, AFL, AF of L, People's Council of America, People's Council of America for Democracy and Peace, John Spargo, Socialist Party of America, Socialist Party of the United States of America, SPA, SPUSA, social democracy, social democrats, socialism, social-patriotism
"Our Aims in the War: An Address Delivered by John Spargo at Minneapolis, Minn., September 5, 1917, under the Auspices of the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy."
Collection folkscanomy_politics; folkscanomy; additional_collections
The anti-war organization the People's Council of America for Democracy and Peace planned a national conference which was to begin September 1, 1917, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. State and local officials intervened, however, forcing a hurried move of the meeting to Chicago.
The pro-war opponent of the People's Council, the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy, founding by Samuel Gompers working in conjunction with agencies of the Woodrow Wilson administration, organized a counter-convention for the same city and slated to begin at approximately the same date. This latter "patriotic" gathering was treated altogether differently than the proposed conclave of anti-war People's Council Convention and allowed to proceed without intervention.
This pamphlet is the keynote speech of pro-war Socialist John Spargo to the convention of the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy.
Spargo professes his continued belief in the cause of socialism but states that his duty lies with fighting the wrongs inflicted upon downtrodden people the world over -- in this case, the wrongs inflicted by Germany in the European war, particularly upon Belgium. Spargo characterizes Germany as a pure example of organized militarism for which international law means nothing. The cause of the Wilson Administration and the United States in the war he equates with the interests of the people of the whole world.
Spargo expresses regret in the suppression of the People's Council's proposed convention (which was ultimately broken up by the Chicago police), stating "no driving of the people outside of your city walls and gates, no act of repression, no imprisonment, no punishment, no judicial injunction, no official act of any kind whatsoever can dislodge the idea which finds its way in the mind of a man." Instead, open debate with the "so-called People's Council" and those professing anti-war views is called for.
Spargo proclaims the international socialist movement is united in the cause of the Entente powers in the war and asserts that, to his regret and shame, "there are only two pro-German socialist parties in the world -- one of them is the Majority party of the German empire, which does the bidding of the Hohenzollern dynasty, and the other...is the Socialist Party of the United States."
Spargo calls on the labor movement to fail to rally to calls for a "cowardly peace" and to continue its fight against "despotism" and "militarism" through the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy.
Pamphlet published in the United States in 1917, content published prior to 1923 and is in the public domain.
Scanned from a specimen in the Tim Davenport collection. Margin size reduced and blank pages deleted to constrain file size in this pdf edition.
This file released to the public domain -- reproduce freely.